South Korea has been battling for democracy in their country since the late 1940s and has seen progressive movements toward a more democratic state. More recently South Korea has experienced a moment of true democracy when the judiciary ruled to impeach their executive leader for abuse of power and corruption. President Park Geun-hye, the daughter of a previous executive leader and military general in the 1970’s, Park Chung-hee. Park Chung-hee exhibited a hybrid regime which held central power in the state.
The first female President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison for her offenses as the executive leader. Park was known as a conservative party leader for South Korea. This executive scandal exposed the corruption within South Korean politics that has been happening even through their self-claimed Democracy in the 20th century. However this scandals exposure has illustrated an important aspect of South Korea’s democracy. The democracy is proving to work for the people.
The conservative party was not threatened by their executive leaders scandal. The exposure of double-dealing between political leaders and conglomerates with the power of top government officials does not reflect the conservative parties motives. The leader of Mrs. Park’s conservative Liberty Korea Party, In Myung-jin, said that he “humbly respected” the ruling.
Mrs. Park faced charges of bribery, extortion, and abuse of power in connections with conspiring with a confidante, an old friend from her childhood, Choi Soon-sil. The claims of bribery, and extortion were in connection with a major South Korean company Samsung. Samsung reportedly sought to pay out tens of millions of dollars in bribes to Mrs. Park and her confidante.
As a sign of South Korea’s young democracy, the non-violent removal of president Park Geun-hye, the countries steps toward a less corrupted democracy. Park supporters issued their political rights to protest the impeachment peacefully, and in the months following the decision by the judiciary she was impeached and demanded to step down from office. This is a miracle and a new milestone for South Korea’s democracy.The impeachment is seen as a miracle for the state because South Korea has experienced leaders that claim legitimacy through means of democratic institutions such as “fair” elections. These fair elections were never truly fair for the citizens in South Korea and were almost non-competitive for any opposition parties. This miracle helps strengthen the institutionalization of democracy in South Korea and all political parties have vowed to preserve the democratic institutions.